Numerous companies and venues have grasped onto the mobile app trend and are now allowing consumers to leave wallets at home and embrace versatile smartphones.
Not only will smartphones be used in accordance with the state governments in January, they will also be used in movie theaters and airlines among other locations that are going mobile and paperless with those who are comfortable with it.
Gov. Jerry Brown recently approved a bill allowing drivers to show proof of insurance through mobile applications rather than shuffling through messy glove boxes the next time they get pulled over.
The measure, Assembly Bill 1708, was passed Sept. 7 and will take effect next year.
California is one of several other states allowing consumers of mobile applications to show their smartphones rather than official documentation during traffic stops. The option to receive paper documentation will remain for those skeptical about using mobile versions.
Besides auto insurance, a smartphone can present other forms of documentation such as movie theater stubs.
More box offices are going mobile this year and are offering moviegoers a new way to purchase and show proof of tickets.
Fandango Inc. was one of the first well-known ticket companies to launch paperless tickets within certain cities nationwide. Not only can consumers purchase tickets through a smartphone, but they are also able to actually use the smartphone as an official ticket.
However, Jeff Little, 18, a business major, is one of many who is not very excited about the theater’s mobile offers.
“I’m more about the old school way of buying the tickets. I think half the fun is buying them from the box office and then holding it while walking in,” he said.
Many grocery stores have also touted the growing mobile trend and are eliminating loyalty card keyrings.
Ralphs allows its customers to store their Ralphs Rewards Card on their smartphones. Instead of scanning a keychain or a full-sized card, or in some cases typing in a telephone number, cashiers are able to scan the stored mobile barcode to receive a customer’s loyalty information.
Curtis Rathman, a front-end manager at a Ralphs supermarket in Dana Point, estimated that about 60 customers a day are using the mobile application in his store and the number is increasing.
“Ralphs is definitely trying to keep up with the new trends. They are even using those scan bars on certain products now, the ones that are scanned with an app,” he said.
For those who really trust their smartphones, boarding passes are also becoming readily available through mobile applications, like Apple’s newest operating system, iOS 6, which will be flaunting a new app named “Passbook”.
Three airlines, including Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and Virgin Australia, have already committed to the new feature allowing passengers to flash their iPhones in place of boarding passes.
Upon arriving to the airport, Apple’s Passbook will be readily available directly on the phone’s initial lock screen, eliminating the hassle of browsing through numerous other apps and then sorting through them in order to find the right documentation.
According to Apple, if your gate changes after you have already checked into your flight, Passbook will even alert you to the updated changes.
Although more options are becoming available for consumers to flash smartphones rather than documentation, many are still wary.
Lauren Gonzalez, 21, a criminal justice and public administration double major, said she is reluctant to rely solely on her phone.
“My smartphone is always crashing and losing important things I need so I think it would take a lot for me to trust it,” she said.